Ships hit by U-boats

Franklin K. Lane

American Steam tanker

NameFranklin K. Lane
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,589 tons
Completed1920 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Alameda CA 
OwnerStandard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York 
Date of attack9 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-502 (Jürgen von Rosenstiel)
Position11° 12'N, 66° 39'W - Grid ED 8499
Complement41 (4 dead and 37 survivors).
RouteCaripito, Venezuela - Trinidad (7 Jun) - Aruba 
Cargo73,000 barrels of crude oil 
History Completed in November 1920 
Notes on event

Between 02.00 and 02.30 hours on 9 June 1942 the submerged U-502 attacked convoy TO-5 from abaft port beam with several torpedoes and sank Bruxelles and Franklin K. Lane about 40 miles north-northeast of La Guiara, Venezuela.

The Franklin K. Lane (Master Warner Edgar Loeffler) was missed by a first torpedo just as the ship began to change her station in convoy, but a second struck on the starboard side in the #7 tank aft of the bridge. The explosion created a large column of smoke and a geyser of oil rained on the poop deck. The tanker buckled at the point of impact and fire quickly enveloped the bridge and spread on the water. 37 men of the eight officers, 27 crewmen and six armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in gun) abandoned ship in two lifeboats and one raft, because two boats had been damaged by the explosion. The master, the chief mate and two crewmen were lost. 34 survivors were picked up by HNMS Jan van Brakel (M 80) (Lt.Cdr. T.K. van Asbeck, RNN) after three hours and landed in Curaçao later that day. Three other survivors were rescued by HMS Churchill (I 45) (Cdr P.J. Fitzgerald, RN) which eventually scuttled the drifting wreck of the tanker with about 20 shells, concluding that she would be a hazard to navigation.

On boardWe have details of 6 people who were on board

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